Sunday, May 30, 2010

Postcards from Primavera Sound 10: Day 2 & 3 highlights

Mobile phone-quality photos and videos from some of the best performances of the second and third day of the Primavera Sound 10 festival in Barcelona featuring Les Savy Fav, Spoon, The New Pornographers, Best Coast, Built To Spill, Dum Dum Girls and The Drums. We're keeping the good stuff for the detailed reports that we're going to bring you both here and in as soon as we're back home and make a full recovery from this three day music-marathon!

Day 2 - May 28, 2010

Les Savy Fav, live @ Primavera Sound 10

Les Savy Fav - Patty Lee, live @ Primavera Sound 10

Spoon, live @ Primavera Sound 10

Spoon - Trouble Comes Running, live @ Primavera Sound 10

The New Pornographers, live @ Primavera Sound 10

 Best Coast, live @ Primavera Sound 10

Day 3, May 29, 2010

Built To Spill, live @ Primavera Sound 10

 Dum Dum Girls, live @ Primavera Sound 10

The Drums, live @ Primavera Sound 10

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Postcards from Primavera Sound 10: Highlights from the first day (Barcelona, May 27, 2010)

Sleigh Bells were the revelation of the first day of Primavera Sound 10. Amazing energy on stage and a huge sound that combines dance and hip hop beats with punk rock aggression. The best performance we saw during the first two days of the festival by a new band.

Sleigh Bells, live@Primavera Sound 10 (Barcelona, May 27, 2010)

Among the highlights of the first day of Primavera Sound 10 were also the performances of Superchunk, Broken Social Scene and The Fall:

Superchunk, live@Primavera Sound 10

Broken Social Scene, live@Primavera Sound 10

 The Fall, live@Primavera Sound 10

Better quality photos and videos plus detailed reports coming soon...

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Postcards from Primavera Sound 2010: Los Campesinos! & First Aid Kit, live@Apollo, May 26

Photos from Wichita Records 10 Year Anniversary Show at Apolo, Barcelona. Los Campesinos! headlined the event with support from labelmates First Aid Kit and Peggy Sue.This was Primavera Festival's launch party. More details coming soon!

Los Campesinos!

First Aid Kit

Los Campesinos! - There Are Listed Buildings, live@Apollo, Barcelona, May 26, 2010

The Cool Music Central team has just arrived in Barcelona and over the next few days will be bringing you the sights and sounds of the Primavera Sound 2010 festival. Detailed reports coming soon. Stay tuned...

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Set the controls for the heart of Primavera Sound, again

Since we've had such a great time last year, we've decided to do it all over again this year. The dedicated Cool Music Central r'n'r team (all two of us) is gearing up for a new Barcelona expedition and we will be bringing you all the action from Primavera Sound 2010 like we did last spring (read all about it here). Let's take a closer look at some of the most exciting names appearing at this year's Primavera Sound festival that is taking place between Thursday, May 27th and Saturday, May 29th in Spain:

May 27th

The big names of the first day, in order of appearance, are The Fall, Superchunk and Pavement at the San Miguel stage (the biggest one) and Broken Social Scene at the Ray-Ban stage. Indie rock royalty with tremendous history behind them and just as exciting present. We've already talked about The Fall's latest opus, while we've recently learned that Superchunk are finishing their ninth LP, their first in almost ten years. Broken Social Scene, Canada's all-star rock team, have recently dropped the tremendous "Forgiveness Rock Record", while Pavement may not have or planning on recording any new material but their reunion for a limited run of shows is undoubtedly one of the major events of the year, giving a new generation of fans the chance to catch them live for the first time. I'm also very curious how a backstage meeting between Mark Smith and Stephen Malkmus would go - friendly chat or something along the lines of "Hey, student! Stop plagiarizing my band"!

Other exciting acts appearing on Thursday include rising stars The XX and The Big Pink (two of the greatest new bands of 2009), Sleigh Bells (they just released their awesome debut "Treats"), Chrome Hoof, Titus Andronicus, Surfer Blood and Sic Alps.

May 28th

Plenty of excellent acts on offer on the second day of the festival but the overlapping schedule means that we're faced with some tough choices. I'm definitely planning on seeing Spoon and Les Savy Fav, two of my favorite bands of the '00s, while Beach House and Wire are also a must (one of the hottest acts of the year versus founding fathers of post-punk and a source of inspiration for countless musicians over the last three decades), but the proximity of their on-stage time calls for a very tricky balancing act on my part (which involves a lot of running around with a stopwatch on hand).

The tightly packed schedule means that I'll probably miss Wilco and Japandroids, but hopefully I can catch at least part of the performances of Yeasayer, Panda Bear, CocoRosie, Cold Cave, Shellac, The King Khan & BBQ Show and earlier in the day The New Pornographers, Best Coast, Hope Sandoval & The Warm Inventions and Low performing "The Great Destroyer". The last two groups play at the limited capacity but with great acoustics Auditorium stage, which adds the challenge of actually managing to get in these shows.

May 29th

The two most anticipated performances of the third day of the festival for me are from veteran guitar-heroes Built To Spill at the ATP stage and from fresh-faced indie darlings Dum Dum Girls (also the stars of one of our recent Killer Tracks posts) who are to play two sets: an acoustic one at the Ray-Ban Unplugged stage and a full-on electric one at the Pitchfork stage. Other hot new acts appearing on the third day include HEALTH, No Age (unfortunately playing at the same time as Built To Spill), The Drums, Florence + The Machine, Atlas Sound, Grizzly Bear, The Antlers and Real Estate. Among the names with an impressive history behind them we find The Slits, The Clean, Polvo, Liquid Liquid and the mad professor of dub Lee "Scratch" Perry.

These are approximately 40 bands out of the more than 100 that will be appearing across nine stages in the three days of Primavera Sound 2010 (without taking into consideration the many related events that take place in the city around these dates). At the start of June we'll be bringing you, both here and in, our complete report of what went down in Barcelona accompanied, as usual, with exclusive photos and video-clips. Keep watching this space in the meantime for some mini reports with the sights and sounds of the festival.

Broken Social Scene - 7/4 Shoreline

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Killer Tracks: Bloodbuzz Ohio by The National

"Bloodbuzz Ohio", the recently released first single off The National's fifth LP "High Violet", has quickly become one of our favorite tracks of the year so far. I don't know what's the inspiration behind the lyric "I still owe money to the money I owe" but with the current state of our economy it certainly takes a whole new meaning! So, let's share a glass of wine with Matt Berninger to forget our troubles and enjoy the great looking black-and-white video (mp3 here):

Saturday, May 15, 2010

LoneLady - "Nerve Up"

LoneLady’s debut album "Nerve Up" along with The Fall’s "Your Future Our Clutter" dominated our April playlist, as you can see here. LoneLady is the project of Manchester musician Julie Campbell who not only composed all of the songs on "Nerve Up" but also played everything on it apart from the drums (that’s the job of Andrew Cheetham) and co-produced it with Guy Fixsen (ex member of Moonshake and Laika whose illustrious producing / engineering credits include working with The Breeders, Throwing Muses, Stereolab and My Bloody Valentine among many others).

Although the album is released on Warp Records, famous for its pioneering electronic music releases, "Nerve Up" is rooted in the early '80s post-punk sound, echoing not only the rich tradition of LoneLady’s hometown on this genre but also the angular punk funk of Gang Of Four or The Au Pairs. There are also hints of P.J. Harvey on "Nerve Up" as well as a distinctive American rock influence, with the fervor of Kristin Hersh and the nervy guitars of early R.E.M. or Talking Heads coming to mind. But despite the strong influences of indie rock's former glories, the end result is anything but retro. The simple, sharp guitar lines and the insistent, crisp percussion that drive the album's ten tracks sound urgent and fresh, creating a modern rock record that can work just as well on the indie-disco dance floor.

Read here what Paul Morley had to say about LoneLady and grab here an mp3 of "Immaterial", one of her singles included in "Nerve Up".

LoneLady - Intuition (LA Session)

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Listening Habits 04.2010

I couldn’t really say that The Fall’s 28th album “Your Future Our Clutter” is a return to form for Mark E. Smith’s troupe because, frankly, The Fall have always sounded great to me. Even when the band is not at its best (2007’s “Reformation Post TLC” is a recent example) it would be foolish to ignore its offerings since it is guaranteed that you’ll find in there flashes of brilliance and musical wit that would put to shame the latest “next big thing”. And every now and then you get a record like “Y.F.O.C.” that reminds you why the great John Peel had said that The Fall should be used as a yardstick for all other bands.

The brutal sonic attack that kicks off with lead track “O.F.Y.C. Showcase” rarely lets up for the duration of the album. “Bury Pts. 1+3” that follows it, is simply devastating - a seamless collage that starts off as a lo-fi recording of punk rock Armageddon before exploding in a super hi-fi distillation of pure M.E.Smith rage, delivered with military precision by the well-oiled rockin’ machine of The Fall that consists of Smith's wife Elena Poulou, Dave Spurr, Pete Greenway and Keiron Melling. It’s newsworthy that this Fall line-up has not changed since last album “Imperial Wax Solvent” and this new found stability seems to have greatly benefitted the band which sounds tighter than ever.

Mexico Wax Solvent” is the album’s “pop” moment with the rhythm section locked in a relentless dance groove while the keyboards playfully accompany Smith’s voice who is actually attempting the rarest of Fall tricks - a melodic refrain. Wanda Jackson’s 1961 track “Funnel Of Love” provides the necessary rockabilly kick we’ve come to expect from the band and as classic Fall covers go, it’s up there with “White Lightning” or “Strychnine”.  Elsewhere Smith delivers cryptic verses about “unseen knowledge, unseen footage, unseen facts” over electrified, electrocuted country and western (“Cowboy George”), gets totally wired as his band goes into perfect ’80s Fall sound mode (“YFOC/Slippy Floor”) or gets uncharacteristically vulnerable, wondering “when do I quit this hospital my darling” (“Chino”), under the influence of his recent misadventures. What remains constant throughout The Fall’s debut for Domino though is the band’s unflinching focus and unrelenting intensity, resulting in its best work since “The Unutterable” back in 2000, an LP that found its way in our Top 20 Albums for the ’00s. I’m convinced that a similar achievement for the new decade is more than possible thanks to the mighty roar of “Your Future Our Clutter”.

Check out here The Quietus' track-by-track presentation of the album and watch below the brand new video for “Bury Pts. 2+4”:

The Fall - Bury Pts. 2+4

And here's what else we've been listening to in April 2010:

Top 10 Albums

1.  Your Future Our Clutter - THE FALL
2.  Nerve Up - LONELADY
3.  Congratulations - MGMT
4.  The Monitor - TITUS ANDRONICUS
5.  Goat (Remastered) - THE JESUS LIZARD
7.  The Optimist - NEW YOUNG PONY CLUB
8.  Fire Like This - BLOOD RED SHOES
9.  Beat The Devil's Tattoo - BLACK REBEL MOTORCYCLE CLUB
10. JJ No3 - JJ

Top 20 Tracks

1.  Bury Pts.1+3 - THE FALL
2.  Intuition - LONELADY
3.  When It Comes - HIGH PLACES
4.  The Overachievers - LIARS
5.  Song For Dan Treacy - MGMT
7.  Lights - INTERPOL
8.  Contact - WOODEN SHJIPS
9.  I Will Be - DUM DUM GIRLS
10. My Whole Life - GUN OUTFIT
11. A More Perfect Union - TITUS ANDRONICUS
13. Lemonade - COCOROSIE
14. Zebra - BEACH HOUSE
15. Fool's Day - BLUR
16. Attack Music - THESE NEW PURITANS
18. Light It Up - BLOOD RED SHOES
19. Fixed - STARS
20. Let Go - JJ

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Chain And The Gang, Live @ Myga Club, Athens (May 1st, 2010)

International Workers' Day in the company of Ian Svenonius' Chain And The Gang - a fun-packed party where politics and rock'n'roll meet:

Chain And The Gang - Trash Talk, live @ Myga Club (Athens, May 1st, 2010)

Sunday, May 02, 2010

New Releases: April 2010

Round up of the most interesting albums and singles released in April 2010 plus links to videos and free & legal mp3s:


THE FALL - Your Future Our Clutter
MGMT - Congratulations (video)
AVI BUFFALO - Avi Buffalo (mp3)
CARIBOU - Swim (video)
MUSIC GO MUSIC - Expressions (video)
LALI PUNA - Our Inventions (mp3)
THE RADIO DEPT. - Clinging To A Scheme (mp3)
HOLE - Nobody's Daughter (mp3, video)
MELISSA AUF DER MAUR - Out of Our Minds (video)
TRANS AM - Thing (mp3)
DELOREAN - Subiza (mp3)
METH GHOST RAE - Wu-Massacre
PAUL WELLER - Wake Up The Nation
KATE NASH - My Best Friend Is You
SHE & HIM - Vol.2
HARLEM - Hippies
MI AMI - Steal Your Face
SIGHTINGS - City of Straw (mp3)
65DAYSOFSTATIC - We Were Exploding Anyway
THE APPLES IN STEREO - Travellers in Space and Time
DR. DOG - Shame, Shame
KILLING JOKE - Feast Of Fools
FROG EYES - Paul's Tomb: A Triumph


JAPANDROIDS - Art Czars (video)
THE DEAD WEATHER - Die By the Drop (video)
THE FALL - Bury Pts 2+4/Cowboy Gregori (video)
THESE NEW PURITANS - Attack Music (video)
HIGH PLACES - Can’t Feel Born (mp3)
CRYSTAL CASTLES - Celestica (video)
FOALS - Spanish Sahara (video)
BEACH HOUSE - Zebra (video)
BLUR - Fool's Day (mp3)
THE BIG PINK - Tonight (mp3)
LCD SOUNDSYSTEM - Pow Pow (stream)
YEASAYER - O.N.E. (video)
MGMT - Siberian Breaks (stream)
COCOROSIE - Lemonade/Surfer Girl (mp3)
METRIC - Gold Guns Girls (video)
BAND OF HORSES - Compliments (video)
BLACK KEYS - Tighten Up/Howlin' For You (video)
FUCK BUTTONS - Olympians (video)
HOT CHIP - I Feel Better (video)
GORILLAZ - White Flag
PAUL WELLER - No Tears To Cry/Wake Up The Nation (video)
THE FUTUREHEADS - Heartbeat Song (video)
THE JOY FORMIDABLE - Popinjay (video)
HAPPY BIRTHDAY - Shampoo/Alien
DUM DUM GIRLS/MALE BONDING - Pay For Me/Before It's Gone
MENOMENA/HELIO SEQUENCE - Pilgrim's Progress/Converter
DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS - Your Woman is a Living Thing/Just Maybe
THEM CROOKED VULTURES - Mind Eraser, No Chaser
SURFER BLOOD - Swim (video)
JONSI - Go Do/Boy Lilikoi (video)
KATE NASH - Doo Wah Doo (video)
MAJOR LAZER - Lazers Never Die
ALBUM LEAF - There Is a Wind (video)
SPECTRUM - Words May Shatter
DANGER MOUSE AND SPARKLEHORSE - Just War (featuring Gruff Rhys) (video)
65DAYSOFSTATIC - Crash Tactics (stream)
WE ARE SCIENTISTS - Rules Don't Stop (video)
RUSSELL CRAWFORD - The Bad Luck EP (video)

Recommended mp3 downloads:

Interpol - Lights
Gun Outfit - My Whole Life
Stars - Fixed
Male Bonding - Year's Not Long
Mates Of State - Laura
Ponys - Check The Doors
Pernice Brothers - Jacqueline Susann
Chrome Hoof - Crystalline

"Your Future Our Clutter" is The Fall's 28th album and one of the year's greatest releases so far. Here's a live performance of "Bury", one of the album's standout tracks, an alternate version of which was also released as a limited edition single for Record Store Day:

The Fall - Bury (live at the Brook, Southampton, November 18th, 2009)